School of Humanities
School of Humanities - English
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
604.986.1911 ext. 3438
Fir Building, room FR404
PhD, English, Brown University, 2017.
BA (Honours), English and Humanities, Simon Fraser University, 2007.
Andrea Actis (PhD, Brown University, 2017) is writer and scholar of Italian, Hungarian and English ancestry living on the unceded terrorities of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Actis' teaching, research and creative interests all emerge from her commitment to the study of how certain affects, especially those of seriousness and anger, are understood, represented and activated in contemporary culture.
After receiving a BA in English and Humanities at Simon Fraser University (SFU), where her Honours thesis used the feminist existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir to examine the work of the Saltspring Island-based poet Phyllis Webb, Actis began a PhD program in English at Brown University. Her initial plan to write about contemporary poetry alongside the concept of failure eventually turned into a dissertation on contemporary poetry and the deconstruction of how whiteness operates in relation to claims of what is and isn't "serious."
Upon returning to Vancouver in 2014, Actis began TAing for a range of courses in the English department at SFU and soon after became an English instructor at Coquitlam College as well as a sessional instructor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
From 2015-2017, Actis edited the triannual literary and visual arts journal The Capilano Review while overseeing its community programming. She remains a board member and contributing editor at The Capilano Review.
Actis' first book, Grey All Over, was published by Brick Books in 2021.
My teaching fields include modern and contemporary literature, culture, and intellectual history; poetry and poetics; critical race theory; gender and sexuality studies; decolonial literatures and pedagogies; composition and creative writing; and publishing and book design.
In literature and writing classes alike, I aim to teach a wide range of materials that require us to hold in mind and action both what we have in common with one another and what we might experience very differently. I also encourage my students, regardless of the particular course or assignment, to honour and write through the value of their own experiences and to imagine new possibilities for how research might be undertaken and presented.